Eragon is the story of a boy that discovers a dragon’s egg and with the help of an older man, learns how to rider her.
Eragon is the first book in the Inheritance Cycle – 4 books. The story takes place in a Tolkien-esque world of magical creatures, evil kings and of course, dragons. The story actually takes place post-hero time when the world was ruled and governed by the powerful Dragon Riders. The main plot revolves around a young farm boy named Eragon, who in the beginning of the story, finds a mysterious stone while hunting in the forest. It turns out that this stone is actually a dragon egg. As the egg hatches, a small blue dragon emerges and Eragon is marked on his palm with the mark of the dragon rider, which binds him to his dragon eternally. The dragon, named Saphira, is one of the last dragons and the evil king Galbatorix wants her dead so he can remain the only living dragon rider.
The novel begins with a prologue. A Shade – a sorcerer possessed by evil spirits – named Durza and several Urgals kill two Elves and chase Arya (an Elven-lady) through a forest. Arya has a blue stone, later revealed to be a dragon egg. Arya is captured, but sends the egg to the Spine using magic to keep it safe. It is later revealed that the egg was sent to the Spine due to its close proximity to Carvahall, where an ally of Arya lives.
Eragon lives with his uncle Garrow and cousin Roran on a farm on the borders of a small village called Carvahall. While hunting in the Spine, a large and feared mountain range, Eragon is surprised to see a polished blue stone appear in front of him. A few days later, Eragon witnesses a baby dragon hatch from the “stone”, and realizes that it is actually a dragon egg. Eragon names the dragon Saphira. He raises the dragon in secret until two of King Galbatorix’s servants, the Ra’zac, come to Carvahall looking for the egg. Eragon and Saphira manage to escape by hiding in the forest, but Garrow is fatally wounded and the house and farm are burned down by the Ra’zac. Once Garrow dies, Eragon is left with no reason to stay in Carvahall, so he goes after the Ra’zac, seeking vengeance for the destruction of his home and his uncle’s death. He is accompanied by Brom, an elderly story-teller, who insists on helping him and Saphira.
Eragon becomes a Dragon Rider through his bond with Saphira. On the journey, Brom teaches Eragon sword fighting, magic, the Ancient Language, and the ways of the Dragon Riders. Their travels bring them to Teirm, where they are able to track the Ra’zac to the southern city of Dras-Leona. Although they manage to infiltrate the city, Eragon encounters the Ra’zac in a cathedral and he and Brom are forced to flee. Later that night, their camp is ambushed by the Ra’zac. A stranger named Murtagh rescues them, but Brom is gravely injured. Knowing that he is about to die, Brom tells Eragon that he used to be a Dragon Rider. His dragon’s name was also Saphira, but an evil Dragon Rider named Morzan killed her. Brom then avenged Saphira’s death and killed Morzan. After telling Eragon this, Brom dies.
Murtagh becomes Eragon’s new companion and they travel to the city Gil’ead to find information on how to find the Varden, a group of rebels who want to see the downfall of Galbatorix. While stopping near Gil’ead, Eragon is captured and imprisoned in the same jail that holds a woman he has been receiving dreams about. When he breaks out of his cell, he discovers that she is an Elf. Murtagh and Saphira stage a rescue, and Eragon escapes with the unconscious Elf. During the escape, Eragon and Murtagh battle with Durza. Murtagh shoots Durza between the eyes with an arrow, and the Shade disappears in a cloud of mist.
After escaping, Eragon contacts the unconscious Elf telepathically, and discovers that her name is Arya. She tells them that she was poisoned while in captivity and that only a potion in the Varden’s possession can cure her. Arya is able to give directions to the exact location of the Varden: a city called Tronjheim, which sits in the mountain Farthen Dûr. She also adds that they have only four days to reach the Varden or she will die. The group go in search of the Varden, both to save Arya’s life and to escape Galbatorix’s wrath. When they are traveling to the Varden the group notices a huge unit of Urgals following them. The Urgals are revealed to be larger than normal and are called Kull. The Kull reach Eragon right outside the Varden’s entrance, but are driven off with the help of the Varden. The Varden escort them to a place called Farthen Dûr. When they arrive in Farthen Dûr, Eragon is led to the leader of the Varden, Ajihad. Ajihad imprisons Murtagh after he refuses to allow his mind to be read to determine if he is friend or foe to the Varden. Eragon is told by Ajihad that Durza was not destroyed by Murtagh’s well placed arrow, because the only way to kill a Shade is with a stab to the heart.
Eragon is at last able to rest, but a new invasion is imminent. As the battle begins, the Varden and the Dwarves are pitted against an enormous army ofUrgals, deployed by Durza and Galbatorix. During the battle, Eragon faces Durza again. Durza, having gravely wounded Eragon’s back, is about to capture him but is distracted by Saphira and Arya. Durza’s attention is diverted long enough for Eragon to stab him in the heart with his sword. After Durza’s death, the Urgals are released from a spell which had been placed on them, and begin to fight among themselves. The Varden take advantage of this opportunity to make a counter-attack, forcing off the Urgals. While Eragon is unconscious, someone called The Cripple Who Is Whole contacts him telepathically and tells Eragon to come to him for training in the forest of the Elves, Dû Weldenvarden. The book ends with Eragon agreeing to accompany Arya and Saphira to Dû Weldenvarden to complete his training with The Cripple Who Is Whole.
Characters: who are the key characters, what defines them
Eragon – the young farm boy who becomes a dragon rider. He was actually the son of a mysterious woman who left him with his aunt and uncle as a baby to be raised. Eragon is a typical young fantasy story hero – full of angst, lacking in any type of confidence, yet willing to rush in to a fight
Brom – a mysterious old man living in Eragons village. He takes a keen interest in Eragon when he learns of the stone. Eventually, Brom helps Eragon and trains him to be a dragon rider
Saphira – The dragon
The Shade – The sorcerer
Murtagh – Renegade
Arya – Elf who carries the egg initially
Introduction to the language used in Eragon
1 – Beginning – Eragon finds dragon egg in Spine (Rocky Mountain type mountain range, very dangerous). After egg hatches, evil Razac (henchmen of the evil king) hunt Eragon and Saphira down, kill Eragon’s Uncle Garrow. Eragon vows revenge
2 – Mid – Eragon meets Brom (former Dragon Rider) and begins learning how to use magic, fight and how to be a Dragon Rider
3 – End – Eragon meets the enemy, however, is not fully trained. Although he wins, he realizes he needs more training…
• no resolution in this book. Ends open, for second book in series.
What makes the story special
• The complete imagination of the author. Although he was very young when he wrote the first book (19), he possesses a firm handle on the art of storytelling. His style is very reminiscent of Tolkien in that he paints a picture of what he wants you to see so completely, that it’s difficult not to be grabbed by the story.
Thinking Prompt from Stefan
• List 5 personal heros and put the results on the Highway to Mars facebook page